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Symmetries and the philosophy of language

Dewar, Neil (2014) Symmetries and the philosophy of language. [Preprint]

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Abstract

In this paper, I consider the role of exact symmetries in theories of physics, working throughout with the example of gravitation set in Newtonian spacetime. First, I spend some time setting up a means of thinking about symmetries in this context; second, I consider arguments from the seeming undetectability of absolute velocities to an anti-realism about velocities; and finally, I claim that the structure of the theory licences (and perhaps requires) us to interpret models which differ only with regards to the absolute velocities of objects as depicting the same physical state of affairs. In defending this last claim, I consider how ideas and resources from the philosophy of language may usefully be brought to bear on this topic.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Dewar, Neilneil.a.dewar@gmail.com
Additional Information: Forthcoming in Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Depositing User: Neil Dewar
Date Deposited: 29 Sep 2015 14:48
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2015 14:48
Item ID: 11694
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Date: 18 August 2014
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/11694

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